Norway Town Manager Dennis Lajoie, right, shares a report with selectmen Thursday night. From left are Russell Newcomb, Warren Sessions, Mike Twitchell, Ryan Lorrain and Chairman Tom Curtis. Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal

NORWAY — Soil erosion and stormwater runoff are major threats to North Pond and Pennesseewassee Lake, the president of the Lakes Association of Norway told selectmen Thursday night.

Sal Girifalco said 42 erosion sites were identified along the shore and watershed area of the pond in 2016. They identified 180 sites along the lake.

He said North Pond, though only a mile long and 10 feet deep, is significant because it feeds Pennesseewassee Lake. The water carries sediment and dirt containing phosphorus, which feeds algae and leads to low oxygen levels that kill plants and fish.

According to a report on the North Pond watershed, 21 erosion sites were rated low risk for polluting the pond, 18 sites were rated medium risk and three were rated high risk. Those 42 sites added 37 tons of sediment per year to the pond, with 25 tons of it from the high-risk sites.

Girifalco said the association received a grant to study and repair the high-risk sites. The work has included building ditches to redirect water into the woods and using riprap, walls and piles of stones along roads to keep water out of the pond. The grant expires this fall.

He said the association will next tackle the sites along Pennesseewassee Lake.

“We want to apply for many grants on Pennesseewassee,” Girifalco said. “That’s going to be a many-year project.”

Select Board Chairman Thomas Curtis said lakes play a vital role in the town’s livelihood and it’s important to protect them.

It affects all of us,” he said. “I liken it to the old three rings of Ballantine beer: purity, body and flavor.”

“The businesses, the lake, property owners and the town, it’s all intertwined,” Curtis said. “If something happens — if one goes, everything goes.”

In other business, selectmen unanimously approved leasing the former schoolhouse at 160 Main St. to The Table, a charity based at the Bolsters Mills United Methodist Church in Harrison, for $1 per year. The organization plans to host small groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon meetings, classes and after-school sessions to help students, according to spokeswoman Anna-Jean Alexander.

The charity must get Planning Board approval.


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